As the annual American Advertising Awards came around, 15 graphic designers from Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Marketing, Design and Public Relations (MDPR) department swept the board winning 15 awards in gold, silver and bronze for their respective categories.
This year’s award ceremony took place on March 17 at the historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside, California. Hosted by the Inland Empire American Advertising Federation (AAF), the award ceremony is an opportunity for students to showcase their work alongside other collegiate designers and compete for awards.
Lead designer at MDPR and fourth-year graphic design student Adrian Arvizu won bronze in the “Poster Design” category for his Traveling Show poster.
Arvizu won bronze the previous year, however, he noted that MDPR as a whole performed better this time around.
“We had a bigger group recognized and a couple more people placed gold. You have Cal Baptist University and The Art Institute who get recognized a lot,” he said. “The Inland Empire is such a huge county so it was cool that we got three golds, which is a higher number than any of the schools that placed. We’re this small department, so it’s cool to get recognized by a whole county.”
This year, four new designers at MDPR entered the competition and were able to flex their creativity in front of AAF, such as fifth-year graphic design student Dimitri Koutroulis who won silver for his Murder Mystery poster.
“I was inspired by the textures and colors of ’50s posters and there were some similarities with an “Indiana Jones“ font I found,” Koutroulis said.
At the end of the night, MDPR took home eight bronze, four silver and three gold awards. Gold recipients included third-year graphic design student Jocelyn Chung and recent Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) alumni Leon Wells and Kelly Rice.
The three gold awards MDPR won for annual report, poster design and illustration.
Rice was recognized for her work on ASI’s Annual Report. “The annual report is one of MDPR’s biggest projects of the year and I’m so proud to have been a part of it. The most memorable aspect of working on the annual report was the collaboration involved in every step of its nearly year-long process,” Rice said. “I was able to work directly with writers, managers and even the executive director of ASI. The annual report is truly an intense project and I’m thrilled that the many months of incredibly hard work I put into it have paid off.
Fellow CPP alumni Leon Wells won gold in the “Illustration” category for his ASI Cycling Mural, housed at the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC).
“Initially, when I found out that I’d won the Gold Addy for the ASI Cycling mural, I was ecstatic! This was the first time I’ve ever received recognition for design,” Wells said. “I would like to thank Campus Recreation for giving me the opportunity to do this project, my team at MDPR for their support throughout this process and my alma mater, Cal Poly Pomona, for their acknowledgment of my work.”
Even though she wasn’t able to attend the event, third-year graphic design student Jocelyn Chung took home the gold for her Joshua Tree Rock Climbing Overnight poster.
“I had never painted a design fully on Photoshop before and was so inspired by my fellow designers at MDPR that I thought I would give it a shot. I felt super affirmed as a designer and as a creative to receive this award,” Chung said. “I’m so thankful for my fellow designers at MDPR and my creative director Dustin for their investment in my life and encouragement to try new things outside my comfort zone. I can doubt my ability to create and design well, but this was incredibly encouraging.”
Although some of the participating designers had previous experience entering their art in on-campus competitions, these awards had higher stakes for some.
“[The American Advertising Awards] are more business professional. I actually volunteered with them this year, helping the judges and working behind the scenes with the projects,” Koutroulis said. “It’s more prestigious in the sense that working professionals who can hire us at some point are the ones judging.”
MDPR’s award-winning designers from left to right: Alexia Andrade, Lea Catbagan, Adrian Arvizu, Dustin Glauser, Summer Furzer, Lisa Juarez and Chad Lynn.
With each participating designer winning an award in their respective category, MDPR walked away from another successful year at the American Advertising Awards.
“It means that we’re headed in the right direction. We’re working hard every day, trying to learn new techniques and learn from each other, and it shows,” Arvizu said. “Last year, we had one gold. This year, we have three, so we’re doing something right. Hopefully next year we have more!”
ADDY Award Winners Complete List:
Josh Phillips – Bronze
Natalie Tran – Bronze
Phien Le – Bronze
Lea Catbagan – Bronze
Adrian Arvizu – Bronze
Lisa Juarez – Bronze
Chad Lynn – Bronze
Summer Furzer – Bronze
Dimitri Koutroulis – Silver
Alexia Andrade – Silver
Tyler Stewart – Silver
Dan Ortiz – Silver
Leon Wells – Gold
Jocelyn Chuong – Gold
Kelly Rice – Gold